What We’re Reading: Booster Shots for Immunocompromised; California Mandates Vaccine for Health Care Workers; Delta Variant in Children

FDA is expected to recommend a plan on distribution of COVID-19 booster shots to immunocompromised Americans; California becomes the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for its health care workers; exploring the threat of COVID-19 infection in pediatric populations.

FDA Expected to Recommend Booster Shots for At-Risk Americans

As reported by ABC News, the FDA is expected to recommend a plan by early September on the distribution of COVID-19 booster shots to immunocompromised Americans, according to a senior government official. Notably, many immunocompromised individuals, particularly transplant recipients and patients with cancer, have been shown to exhibit reduced immune responses to the vaccines compared with the general population. There were no detailed plans to include the general population in the booster plan, as there is insufficient evidence to suggest that immunity has decreased in those already fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

California Becomes First State to Mandate Vaccines for Health Care Workers

As the first state to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for its health care workers, California’s Department of Public Health announced yesterday that all of its approximately 2.2 million health care workers and long-term care workers will need to be vaccinated by September 30. Reported by CBS News, the announcement contradicts statements made last month by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said that health care workers would have a choice on whether to get vaccinated or be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing. Currently, California is experiencing its fastest increase in new COVID-19 cases since the onset of the pandemic, with an average of 18.3 new cases per 100,000 people a day.

Exploring the Threat of COVID-19 Infection in Children

With children under the age of 12 years still ineligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a report released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics details the significant 84% rise in cases for these populations in the past week, with 72,000 children testing positive for the virus. Notably, a piece by NBC News highlights the growing incidence of children becoming severely ill from the surging delta variant, which is known to be more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants. Although it is unclear whether the variant may be more virulent in children, its transmissibility was noted to pose significant threats for at-risk and even otherwise healthy pediatric populations.